RTTNews - The Australian market shed nearly 2% and ended in negative territory on Wednesday despite positive economic data which revealed that the economy grew more than expected during the second quarter. Energy and bank stocks led the decline following sharp losses in Wall Street amid lower commodity prices and increasing prospects of interest rate hikes before the year-end.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index declined 1.69% or 76.40 points to close at 4,438, while the All-Ordinaries Index ended at 4,437, representing a loss of 74.70 points, or 1.66%.

On the economic front, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that the economy grew at a faster than expected pace in the second quarter, reflecting the recent optimistic outlook for the country's economy. The GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% on quarter in the second quarter, compared to the 0.4% growth reported in the first quarter. Economists had expected a more modest 0.2% growth. On a yearly basis, GDP was up 0.6% in the second quarter, exceeding analysts' expectation of a 0.3% increase.

Light sweet crude oil price for October delivery ended at $68.54 a barrel in electronic trading, up $0.49 from its previous close $68.05 a barrel in New York on Tuesday.

Energy stocks declined the most following the sharp pull-back in crude oil prices in the international market on Tuesday. Woodside Petroleum declined 2.68%, Santos fell 2.15%, Oil Search slumped 3.48% and Origin Energy lost 2.71%.

Banks declined on expectations of interest rate hike following better than expected GDP numbers for the second quarter. ANZ Bank lost 3.73%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia declined 1.73%, National Australia Bank fell 3.05% and Westpac Banking shed 2.33%.

Metals and mining stocks also ended in negative territory following drop in commodity prices in the international market on Tuesday. BHP Billiton fell 1.74%, Fortescue Metals slumped 3.49%, Gindalbie Metals lost 2.48%, Oz Minerals shed 3.76% and Rio Tinto declined 2.20%.

Mixed trading was witnessed among the gold stocks. While Lihir Gold managed to end in positive territory with a modest gain of 0.72%, Newcrest Mining shed 0.57% and Sino Gold Mining declined 1.57%.

In the U.S., stocks ended in the negative territory for the second successive day on Tuesday despite better than expected economic data related to manufacturing index, pending home sales and construction spending index, as traders, having already priced in these factors, preferred to lock in gains and move to sidelines ahead of key economic data related to jobs slated for release during the course of the week.

The Dow fell by 185.68 points or 2% to 9,311, the Nasdaq declined by 40.17 points or 2% to 1,969 and the S&P 500 fell by 22.58 points or 2.2 % to close at 998.

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